TomorrowZone® continued the ELFA Innovation Roundtable Series of 2024 with an impactful discussion held on May 9. Co-hosted by Deborah and Tawnya Stone, and moderated by Andrew Cotter, this session, “AI in EF: Real World Application Showcase,” continued the exploration of the fascinating world of AI and demonstrated how to implement this powerful tool realistically using AI-assisted operations.

Special guest, Deborah Baker shared opening remarks and the showcase featured industry experts: Michael Baez, Mark Blais, Brittany Hamilton, Jeffrey Lezinski, Scott Nelson, Bryan Parfitt and Deb Reuben; this incredible panel shared insights and strategies on leveraging AI for business success in real world application and implementation. 

Discussion emphasized the importance of understanding an organization’s structure, goals, and pain points, so leaders can address specific business contexts to focus on streamlining tasks, driving productivity, optimizing processes, and fostering innovation. Ultimately addressing how human/AI-collaboration can improve overall efficiency and effectiveness.

Here is a quick summary of the key takeaways and real-world examples from our esteemed panelists so you too can utilize AI in your own business:  

Michael Baez, CLFP, VP, Professional Services and Customer Strategy, Leasepath:

  • Advanced AI Call Analysis: Modern AI tools transcribe calls, extract data points, analyze sentiment, and provide real-time coaching to optimize sales strategies.
  • Practical Application in Equipment Finance: Real-time insights for sales strategies, streamline collaboration, ensure accurate information, facilitate collection strategies.
  • CRM Integration: Seamless integration with CRM systems like Dynamics 365 Sales records call history, identifies key sentiments, and keeps users informed about customer interactions, enhancing overall sales efficiency.
  • Key Takeaways: Conversation Intelligence optimizes sales processes, improves customer interactions, and drives efficiency throughout the equipment finance industry.

Mark Blais, Chief Information Officer, Channel

  • Bank Wizard Development: Channel developed an AI-powered Bank Wizard prototype that summarizes bank data for underwriters, highlights trends, competitors, and exceptions, and automates manual processes and improves efficiency.
  • Fraud Detection with AI: Inscribe is an ai-powered app that analyzes transaction data, detects inconsistencies, verifies identities, and validates documents.
      • Additional Tools: Oculus, Emailage via LexisNexis, Ekata and Fraudpoint, Mid-Desk, True Pick, Automation Anywhere
  • Gong Revenue Intelligence Platform: Monitors and analyzes meetings and communication interactions providing insights into sales conversation sentiment, themes, and discussion items helping understand customer interests and tailor communication strategies.
  • Key Takeaways: While AI tools can be developed in-house, there are many more off-the-shelf tools available to meet business needs.

Brittany Hamilton, Senior Consultant, Alfa:

  • Introduction of AskThea: A generative AI tool developed by Alpha Systems to navigate extensive documentation provides accurate responses based on continuously updated product documentation.
  • Purpose and Benefits: Increases efficiency for implementation consultants and partners, provides quick and accurate answers to client questions, enhancing the overall user experience and facilitating smoother implementations.
  • Key Takeaways: Alpha Systems leverages AI to streamline client support and improve efficiency and effectiveness for both consultants and clients.

Jeffrey Lezinski, SVP Solution Architecture, Odessa:

  • Project Focus: Predicting lease contract renewals, specifically evergreen month-to-month leases improving the tracking of future cash flows and assessing customer stickiness.
  • Future steps: Generalize the model for different types of leasing companies, expand to more advanced prediction questions, and explore predictive analysis for other aspects of asset finance.
  • Key Takeaways: Most of the work involved is understanding the business problem and data; technical aspects comprised only 20%. Machine learning is iterative, requiring ongoing retraining and adaptation.

Scott Nelson, President & Chief Digital Officer, Board Member, Tamarack Technology, Inc.:

  • User-Centric AI Design: Focus on understanding user needs to enhance productivity and mitigate risks, prioritizing user behavior over technological advancements.
  • Productivity and Creativity with AI: Automate tasks, maintain data integrity, and foster creativity through AI assistance, boosting overall workflow efficiency.
  • Risk Management and Decision-Making with Predictive AI: Use AI for accurate risk management and decision-making, emphasizing the importance of data quality and continuous model adaptation based on evolving data patterns.
  • Key Takeaways: AI integration in business processes drives productivity, manages risks, and fosters innovation through data-driven decision-making.

Bryan Parfitt, Senior Solution Architect, Northteq:

  • Einstein Co-Pilot for Salesforce Integration: Enhances efficiency and productivity by assisting with data retrieval, drafting emails, summarizing deals, recommending next steps, streamlining lease origination processes, automating tasks, and improving decision-making.
  • Advanced Capabilities and Automation: Runs scoring models, interacts with external providers, and initiates actions within Salesforce, generates tasks, and drafts credit narratives, both from desktop and across mobile devices.
  • Key Takeaways: Integration of Einstein Co-Pilot enhances productivity, streamlines processes, and enables automation within the Salesforce environment.

Deborah Reuben, CEO & Founder, TomorrowZone:

  • Intelligent Automation Accelerator for Equipment Finance™: TomorrowZone developed a new interactive learning lab helping non-technical leaders quickly understand and identify high-value AI use cases in their organization and develop a roadmap for implementation.
  • SOP Creation: as an example of an idea that came out of the Automation Accelerator, demonstrated creating written Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) with companion demo video in under 3 minutes using off the shelf tools Descript and ChatGPT.
  • Key Takeaways: The key for implementing AI in business is first identifying the business problem to solve. Know your purpose first, then start exploring with AI.

Actionable Next Steps:

  • Look at the tech you are currently using. AI may already be embedded.
  • Start experimenting internally before rolling it out to your customer base.
  • Know the business problem to solve before looking for a solution. Don’t start shopping for AI without a plan.
  • This is a team sport. Make sure you are engaging in cross-functional representation from your company, including legal and compliance.

A big thank you to ELFA’s Innovation Advisory Council, ELFA’s Operations and Technology Committee and all those helping us to #makeawesomehappen! We look forward to the remaining round table discussions in this year’s series. Be sure to save the following dates and join us in 2024: August 8, November 21. We hope to see you there!

We at TomorrowZone® expect incredible innovation opportunities to come about in 2024 for the EF industry and beyond. As we discussed in this roundtable, the journey from conception to completion is often filled with twists, turns, and unforeseen challenges. You don’t have to navigate it alone. Let us help you to be future ready!